|Sam in front of the Civil War and Locomotive Museum recently.|
Our biggest accomplishment for the year, however, started in January of this year. I had brought home a cookie for him from a box a vendor had left in our break room at work. I thought it was simply chocolate chip. He took all of two bites when he started complaining of his mouth 'feeling funny' and he promptly threw up then developed a lovely rash. Thankfully, the anaphylaxis did not progress, I got 50mg of Benadryl in him, and off we went to see his old allergist whom we'd not seen since 2005. Dr. W diagnosed him with a tree nut allergy as I found out from Kroger that the cookies did indeed have pecans in them. While in his office, Sam had to get on the scale. I had been in denial for a long time about how big his, what I'd jokingly refer to as his "Buddha Belly," had truly become and was stunned to see he weighed in at a hefty 247 pounds. Food issues have plagued us like they do for most families who deal with autism. He is an extremely picky eater, and tends to gravitate towards breads and high carb foods. I had taken the path of least resistance as it was simply easier not to get into a horrid struggle with him over his food choices. But, seeing that number in front of me gave me the kick in the pants I needed. I sat him down and had a long talk with him about the real danger of developing diabetes, what that diagnosis would require he do (fingersticks, insulin injections etc.), and what the long term effects can do in our bodies. We talked about changes we could make to eat healthier, and God love him, he fully understood and embraced it. As you can see in the photo above, the belly is gone! He weighs under 200 pounds now and is still losing! I am sooooo very proud of him, and he is proud of himself too.
He's matured so much and made so many gains since graduating high school. We were able to fully come off the the Intuniv he'd been on for anger/agression issues with high school demands, and dropped his Lexapro back from 20mg to 10mg daily. I'm contemplating taking him off it entirely and seeing how he does. He's become much more conversive and engaging. He is no longer so content to sit in his room on his computer or watching his DVD's all day. He wants to plan outings and has had quite the time planning what we'll do on my days off during this summer. It's been so wonderful and new to see him actually BORED! It gives me so much hope for his eventual transition into a group living situation where he will be a part of a larger 'family' who are active, going and doing. I've often said that it's pointless for me to worry about what is down the road for Sam. I truly have come to realize and trust that I will be shown the path and will know exactly which way to go when we come to the next fork in the road. I smile when I think about how far he's come... how far we've come... and I swell with pride at the young man he's becoming as I am bathed in the grace of being his mom.